Thomas B. Croat, Ph.D.

P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany
Missouri Botanical Garden
Honorary Adjunct Professor

Plant and Microbial Biosciences Program
Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Program

  • 314-577-5163

  • 314-577-5163

  • 314-577-9596

  • Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299



  • systematics, ecology, floristics, araceae, taxonomy

  • Systematics and ecology of Araceae

Research Abstract:

My research interests involve the systematics, floristics and ecology of the family Araceae (philodendron family). Despite the great horticultural interest in the philodendron family and its importance as a major component of many tropical forests, the taxonomy of Araceae is extremely poorly known and the family still contains a high proportion of undescribed species. Thus, work at this stage consists primarily of recognizing and describing new species, writing descriptions and identification keys for tropical floras, and intensively studying certain groups. My current work is concentrated on the floristics of the family in Latin America and monographic studies of Dieffenbachia, Cholorospatha, Homalomena and Rhodospatha. The taxonomic work with the family is primarily carried out in the field and with living material at the Missouri Botanical Garden, where we maintain the world’s largest collection of Araceae, with more than 8,000 accessions. This year's work resulted in the publication of 141 new species, publication of a revision of Dracontium with Guanghua Zhu and publication of a revision of Dieffenbachia of Central America. Other projects completed this year were the Araceae of Bajo Calima with Dorothy Bay and the Araceae of the Río Cenepa Region in northern Peru with Anne Swartz and Emily Yates. A revision of Chlorospatha with Lynn Hannon was also completed and submitted for publication. A major effort is commencing this year to complete and publish the Araceae treatment for the Flora Mesoamerica and a revision of Homalomena with Richard Wunderlin. Work is also progressing on the Araceae treatment for the Flora of the Guianas and for the Flora of Veracruz (Mexico). Field work this year was carried out in Colombia in April and I attended the International Aroid Conference in Nancy, France in early July where I presented 3 scientific papers and two posters and also presented and afternoon public lecture on the History of the Internationl Aroid Society.

Selected Publications:

Croat TB. Revision of Dieffenbachia (Araceae) of Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. Ann Mo Bot Gard 2004 91:668–772.

Croat TB, Zhu G. Revision of Dracontium (Araceae). Ann Mo Bot Gard 2004 91:593-667.

Croat TB. A revision of Philodendron subgenus Philodendron (Araceae) for Mexico and Central America. Ann Mo Bot Gard 1997 84:314-704.

Croat TB. A revision of Anthurium section Pachyneurium (Araceae). Ann Mo Bot Gard 1991 78:539-855.

Croat TB. Ecology and life forms of Araceae. Aroideana 1988 11:4-56.

Last Updated: 8/3/2011 2:35:18 PM

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